Fathers' Rights Focused on a Better Tomorrow

Portland Lawyers Representing Fathers' Rights

Advocating Fathers' Rights in Our Oregon Community

It is natural for a father to want to protect and spend time with his children. In unmarried relationships or during divorce and custody battles, many fathers are understandably worried about maintaining the most important relationships of their lives. Sometimes a dad will go through that stress all over again when parenting time or child custody orders; must be legally enforced or changed. Our team at Pacific Cascade Family Law believes in the importance of advocating for fathers' rights. There is no substitute for clear and accurate legal guidance from an experienced lawyer.

Call us at (503) 573-5566 to make an appointment for a consultation with a Portland family law attorney today.

Child Custody & Parenting Time for Fathers

Many people mistakenly believe that losing custody is the same as losing all parental rights. This is simply not true.

There are three aspects to every custody decision:

  • Legal custody - The parent who is granted legal custody is responsible for providing a primary residence and making decisions about school, religion and major medical issues.
  • Parenting plan - This establishes the time a noncustodial parent is allowed to spend with his or her children and is an enforceable court order. The custodial parent does not have the legal right to change the parenting time agreement without court approval.
  • Paternity - Legally recognized proof of parentage

What Rights Do Unmarried Fathers Have in Oregon?

In Oregon, the rights an unmarried father has will depend on whether paternity has been legally established. If the father has not legally established paternity, either by a genetic DNA test or by signing a Voluntary Agreement of Paternity, usually at the time of birth, he has no legal rights to visitation, custody, or decisions about the child.

Once paternity has been established, an unmarried father has the same rights as a married father. He has the right to remain in his child’s life, fight for visitation, and child support if granted primary custody.

Establishing Paternity in Oregon

Paternity can be established in a few different ways. A father’s claim to paternity can be assumed under the law; it can be formally acknowledged through an agreement between the intended father and mother; or it can be established by the court, which may involve DNA testing. The child receives certain rights and benefits from the legal father, therefore it is crucial to establish paternity in the case of a legal dispute.

Benefits to the Parents and Child

Oregon law holds each legal parent accountable for certain responsibilities related to the child, and it also grants parents certain rights. The legal father retains rights in determining the child custody, visitation, and support obligations. Upon confirmation of paternity, the child obtains the right to inherit from the father, receive financial support from the father until age 18 (21 if attending school), and potentially receive benefits from the government. Even if you’re no longer in a relationship, your decision to establish paternity can improve the child’s psychological well being, access to medical care, and overall quality of life.

Presuming Paternity

Paternity can be presumed in certain situations. When a child is born during a marriage, or within 300 days of a marriage termination, Oregon law gives the presumption of paternity to the husband. Either party has the opportunity to challenge this presumption in court.

Acknowledging Paternity

If a child is born while the parents are unmarried, the mother and father can sign a “Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity” and file it with the state. This is possible regardless of whether you expect to marry in the future or have no plans to marry, and it requires a signature from both parties.

Court Rulings on Paternity

When neither party can come to an agreement, the courts can determine paternity at either the mother, the alleged father, or the state of Oregon’s behest. You can prove paternity with documentary and testimonial evidence, but it is most commonly established through genetic testing. A DNA test can accurately determine biological fatherhood with a blood sample, and the results must demonstrate a level of certainty that meets or exceeds 99 per cent. The court will then presume paternity and make any subsequent judgments in accordance with that finding.

Can a Mother Move a Child Away from the Father in Oregon?

The short answer? Maybe. According to Oregon relocation laws, once paternity, custody, and parenting time have been established by the court, the mother can relocate with the child without notifying the father if the move is within 60 miles of the father. If the mother wishes to move the child more than 60 miles away from the father, they must notify the father and the court in writing.

Once the court has been notified, the father can file a petition in court to stop the move. However, the mother can file a petition asking the judge to allow the relocation, and the judge will consider if the move is in the best interest of the child. The judge could allow the mother to move, deny the relocation, or allow the mother to move but change custody of the child to the father. If the petition for relocation is granted, the child custody agreement will likely be modified to include things like video calls and longer visits.

If the mother of your child is relocating your child against your wishes, it’s important to contact an experienced Portland father’s rights attorney to ensure your wishes are heard by the court.

Protecting Fathers' Rights in Oregon

There are times when it is vital that you stand your ground and fight for your rights, and there are times when it is equally important to negotiate a reasonable resolution. Our Portland fathers' rights attorney is here to help you understand your options and choose the most effective and efficient method for reaching your goals.

Often, the best agreements are arranged between the parties involved. This is why the state will require mediation in most child custody cases. Judges are legally required to make decisions that are in the best interests of the children; they are not required to consider what makes the most sense for you.

If an agreement cannot be reached, we are here to make sure your rights are respected and enforced in the most effective and efficient manner possible. If you have been denied visitation by the custodial parent, we can put enforcement procedures into motion. Whenever necessary, our family lawyers are prepared to protect your rights in a court of law.

Contact Our Portland Custody Rights Attorney Today

Pacific Cascade Family Law represents clients throughout the Portland Metro Area. We're proud of our reputation for outstanding advocacy, fighting for fathers' rights.

Call our Portland fathers' rights lawyer at (503) 573-5566 for a consultation, or use our online form.

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